Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I’ve always written. Always. I can remember a sixth-grade teacher advising me to explore my talent. I majored in journalism in college (I’m Penn State proud!) and wrote features and sports for major daily newspapers before becoming a full-time novelist. I like to say that I grew tired of waiting for an athlete to say something interesting so decided to write fiction and make up my own quotes.
Tell us about your books.
In every one of my books, there comes a time when either the hero or heroine takes a leap of faith. I guess you could also call it a leap of love. They believe in the other person even when evidence doesn’t support their faith. The fun is getting to that moment. I’ve written romantic comedies, emotionally charged family dramas, sexy books and a paranormal serial. In all, I’ve produced about 35 books. I’ve been traditionally published by Harlequin (Superromance, Temptation and Duets), Dorchester Lovespell and Avalon Books. Updated editions of my romcoms, as well some romantic mysteries and the aforementioned paranormal serial, are available for the eBook market. The serial is called Dead Ringers, and it involves body switching!
How did you go about getting published?
I was pretty naive when I started. I knew a lot of writers but they were journalists, not novelists. I didn’t belong to any writing organizations, either. My first completed manuscript featured a baseball player hero, and my hopes were high when I submitted it to Harlequin. I didn’t know that sports heroes were a tough sell at that time. I got a swift rejection. So I wrote a second manuscript and submitted that. I remember being crushed when I got a revision letter telling me all the things that were wrong with that second manuscript. I almost didn’t revise it, because I wasn’t savvy enough to know that receiving a revision letter was a good thing. Thank goodness I revised and resubmitted. That was my first sale.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I write at home on an AlphaSmart, which is a battery-run writing tool that has a screen showing only four lines. The great thing about it is there’s no temptation to check email or browse the Internet. When I’m through with a scene, I transfer it onto my laptop. While the scene is transferring, it almost seems as though a ghost is sitting at the computer typing the words. I’m fighting the good fight against becoming a procrastinator.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I’m a bit of a sports nut, which isn’t surprising once you know I used to be a sportswriter. I like to keep active by taking long walks, riding my bike and going to yoga classes but I absolutely love playing tennis. More often than not, you can find me on a tennis court when I’m not writing. Additionally, I adore traveling and spending time with my family. My husband and I are also movie buffs. What can I say? I love a good story.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
You know that saying about not judging a book by its cover. It’s not true! Make yours the best it can be.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Honestly, promotion isn’t my strong point. It probably stems from being taught as a child not to brag about myself, which is a pretty good life lesson but not the best advice for an author trying to get the word out about her books.
What’s your favorite book?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I could read it over and over.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading an older book by Sophie Kinsella, an author I’ve never read before and am thoroughly enjoying. It’s called Remember Me, and it’s a romantic comedy about a woman who can’t remember the last three years of her life.
What’s your next book project?
I’m writing a romantic comedy trilogy about three brothers with the last name of Devine. They’re all handsome and single so they’re known collectively as the Devine Brothers. The first story is about a hockey player and the female sportswriter whose Twitter reference to him as a #prettyboythug gets lots of traction. The hockey player isn’t too happy about that!